Attorney Tom Bolt, Chairman of the Children’s Trust led a delegation from the Trust on Tuesday to meet Commissioner of Education Nominee Lynn Spampinato. The Children’s Trust is a fund of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands whose mission is to advocate on behalf of the children of the Virgin Islands.
Earlier Tuesday, Commissioner nominee Spampinato told members of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise that of all the persons that she has met in the Virgin Islands not one of them has said that they "want to talk about the children." Children’s Trust Chairman Bolt began the meeting in Spampinato’s office at Roosevelt Park on St. Thomas by saying, "We are here to talk about the children!"
Joining Bolt for the meeting were Donnaleigh Edwards-Cabey, Project Director for the Children’s Trust; Monica M. Howard, an attorney in the Government Relations Practice of Tom Bolt & Associates, an advocate for the Trust; civic activist Alda Monsanto, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trust; and Dee Baecher Brown, the President of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.
During the meeting the Trust reviewed its work over the past year including its draft report authored by the Center for the Study of Social Policy from Washington, DC and a proposal for education reform from the Education Trust, also from Washington.
Spampinato outlined here plans for conducting a series of four audits of the Virgin Islands Department of Education including a study of operations, human resources, physical facilities and finances. The Commissioner nominee hopes to have RFP’s on the audits issued by the end of September and requested the Trust’s assistance in soliciting reponses to the RFP’s from its partner agencies such as the Education Trust.
The Commissioner Nominee outlined that it was important to have a benchmark of where the Virgin Islands Department of Education presently stood so that it could draft a plan of action and that the public, as well as the Department, could have ascertain measurable benchmarks in the Department’s attaining its goals and objectives.
"I believe that we have a real oppportunity to improve children’s lives with the plan outlined by Commissioner nominee Spampinato," Bolt said. "Education is key to the survival of our islands and the Children’s Trust is prepared to work with the Commissioner in advancing the goals outlined in our meeting today."
Commissioner nominee Spampinato is scheduled to appear before the Twenty Seventh Legislature’s Committee on Rules for confirmation hearings later this month.